09 April 2019

China’s champion
international port builder, China Harbour Engineering Co, has been named as
core investor in a major new deepwater port proposed for the east coast of

Bakassi Deep Sea Port, planned
near Calabar, is billed as Nigeria’s potential second port after Apapa at
Lagos, and would be the maritime gateway for the country’s landlocked

Governor of surrounding Cross River State, Ben Ayade, named China Harbour as
core investor on Friday, 5 April on receiving an outline business case for the
long-discussed scheme.

“We made a choice of China Harbour because they are the number one deep seaport
construction company in the world today,” he said, reports newspaper, Punch.  

“They did the design and a pre-feasibility study which has been forwarded
alongside a 3D footage.”

The outline business case proposed a 20-m-deep harbour for transnational
shipping, making it “the deepest seaport in Africa”.

In 2016 Governor Ayade said the Bakassi port scheme would be a public-private
partnership (PPP), requiring an investment of between $500-$800m.

The plan, approved by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, has been to link
the Bakassi port to the country’s northeast with a 275-km superhighway, which
has been criticised on environmental and economic grounds.

Ayade said the existing port at Calabar was hampered by the fluctuating depth of the Great Kwa River, and dredging its length to the sea would be too expensive.

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